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May 2024

A woman standing in front of an arched hallway

A woman standing in front of an arched hallway

Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca Named Knight-Hennessy Scholar

Senior double major receives prestigious Stanford scholarship

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 7, 2024—Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca ’24 has been selected as a 2024 Knight-Hennessy Scholar, a prestigious graduate program that prepares students to be purposeful leaders who address our world’s important challenges. An ethnic studies and sociology double major, Espinoza Salamanca is one of 90 new scholars representing 30 countries and 45 graduate degree programs in Stanford’s seventh cohort. 

“Sarahi’s selection as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar highlights her remarkable achievements and commitment to helping students eliminate educational barriers to success,” said Ed Ryan, acting provost of Santa Clara University. “Sarahi embodies Santa Clara University’s vision of educating leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion. There is no doubt she will use this life-changing opportunity to build a more humane, just, and sustainable world.”

Knight-Hennessy Scholars receive up to three years of financial support to pursue a graduate degree program in any of Stanford's seven graduate schools. Additionally, they participate in experiential learning through the King Global Leadership Program, which includes workshops, lectures, projects, and experiences that strengthen transformational leadership capabilities.

“Each scholar brings a unique perspective to our growing community,” said Tina Seelig, executive director of Knight-Hennessy Scholars. “It is inspiring to see them build ties and gain knowledge across disciplines, cultures, and ideologies, contributing to their ability to address the world’s biggest challenges.”

Espinoza Salamanca, founder and CEO of DREAMers Roadmap, a free app that helps undocumented young people find information about college scholarships, intends to pursue a master of arts in policy, organization, and leadership studies through the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Her experience as an undocumented child, and then navigating the immigration process as a young adult, has inspired her to seek political office. She has charted a several-year course from civic engagement in her hometown of Redwood City to the governor’s office.

A female student in a white dress holding her graduation cap.

Photo by Alejandra Cova (@Ale.covaa)

“I am honored to be the first Mexican from Santa Clara University to join the 2024 cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars. I'm excited to connect and collaborate with my fellow scholars in building a supportive community," said Espinoza Salamanca. “I’m grateful to my many mentors, professors, family, and friends who believed in me all along the way. I want all students who may have been told that people like them don't get to go to college, to know WE CAN attend college and WE can achieve our academic goals and dreams. Si Se Puede!”

At Santa Clara, Espinoza Salamanca has been involved in the LEAD Scholars Program, the Latinx Leadership Incubator Project, the Diversity and Inclusion Student Center, Alpha Sigma Nu, and the Hispanic Serving Institution Advisory Group. She was the 2023 recipient of the Francisco Jiménez Scholar Award.

Espinoza Salamanca is SCU’s third Knight-Hennessy Scholar, joining Hayley Raquer ‘16 and Jasmyn Burdsall ’20 who won in 2018 and 2021, respectively. Espinoza Salamanca was named to Negocios Now “Latinos 40 Under 40” Class of 2024 in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay Area and the Forbes “30 under 30: Education” in 2016. She received The Ohtli Award in 2017, recognized by the House of Representatives in 2015, and named a Champion of Change by President Obama in 2014. 

About Knight-Hennessy Scholars
Established in 2016, Knight-Hennessy Scholars is named for Phil Knight, MBA '62, philanthropist and co-founder of Nike Inc., and John Hennessy, chairman of Alphabet Inc. and president emeritus of Stanford (2000-2016). Knight-Hennessy Scholars is the largest fully-endowed, university-wide graduate fellowship in the world. Learn more at

About Santa Clara University
Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Ranked among the top 15 percent of national universities by U.S. News & World Report, SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education.  For more information see

Media Contact
Lisa Robinson | SCU Media Communications | | 408-551-3601

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